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“Absolutely Terrible! Shocking! Avoid!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Strathisla B&B

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Strathisla B&B
Ranked #220 of 247 Inverness B&B and Inns
Raleigh, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Absolutely Terrible! Shocking! Avoid!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2014

To be honest, I have always taken negative tripadvisor reviews with a pinch of salt. This is perhaps why my boyfriend and I never checked any reviews before booking our 1 night stay at Strathisla. Having now read previous reviews, I felt compelled to share our story as it is clearly not an isolated event.

My boyfriend and I stayed here before a cycle through the highlands and outer hebrides. We were hoping for a calm and relaxing stay to rest up for our upcoming journey. That was not what we got.

We arrived intending to just leave our bikes/gear and head out for a bite to eat. We were delayed and a bit put off by the incessant ramblings of our host. As noted by other guests, his chatter quickly turned offensive - at one point bordering on racist as he complained about a local shop shutting down and more "bloody indians" moving in. We somehow managed to extract ourselves from the conversation and had a lovely stroll through Inverness picking up things for the next day. We thought it best to stay away from the B&B as long as possible.

Having snuck back to our room unnoticed, the night passed without event. The next morning we joined three other guests for breakfast around the family dining table. The food was fair, not plentiful, but it was apparent that we were occupying space in a private family home. Our host interrupted with peculiar questions and comments throughout the meal.

After eating we returned to our room to collect our things and leave. We were unaware of the 10am check-out but were making fine progress until I was unable to locate my wallet. At precisely 10am, mid missing-wallet-panic, our host banged on our door, voice-raised, telling us to get out. My boyfriend informed him of our situation and instead of responding with concern, we were aggressively accused of lying and told that "we should have lost the wallet before 10am". We calmly tried to explain that our passports and cash were in this missing wallet and that without it we would forced to cancel our trip. We assured him that he would receive payment, we just needed some additional time to sort things out all-the-while reminding him that we had offered to pay upon arrival, which he declined, and that he already had our credit card information from time of booking. We asked him to phone the police and the shops we had visited the day before, but he refused. Things became heated quite quickly and at this point our host's wife appeared in the doorway brandishing a frying pan. With now two people relentlessly insisting on money and rushing us out the door, we decided to split up. My boyfriend would run and get the cash we needed with his card while retracing our steps in the hopes of locating the wallet, and I would look for it amongst our possessions while finishing the packing.

20 minutes go by...Having put up with regular intervals of unfriendly accusations, I was near tears when my boyfriend returned with my wallet in hand (thankfully the wonderful cashier at Morrisons had minded my possessions after I had carelessly left them at the till). My boyfriend tried to reenter the property and found that our host had bolted the gate shut with a bicycle D-lock. I was in effect locked inside this B&B. Rather bizarrely, our host changed from being hostile to being accommodating at the discovery we had money in hand, behaving as though the previous hour didn't occur, never apologizing. We gave him 50 pounds for a 48 pound bill. I was willing to let the change go so that we could just leave, but my boyfriend refused to pay a penny more for such a horrible stay. Our host banged about his cupboards perturbedly for several minutes before handing over the 2 pounds in small change with a receipt thanking us for our custom.

The peculiarities of this place could be overlooked, some people might even enjoy them, but the treatment we received while in a dire position, having lost a significant amount of money and all our travel documents, was unacceptable - specifically the way he just wanted his money and wanted us out without a shred of compassion. This is something you wouldn't expect from any human being, least of all someone who makes their living accepting travelers into their home where this sort of thing must happen from time to time. Another reviewer summed it up well, you are not a guest in a B&B but an inconvenience in a family home.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank SheaffersDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2013

While camping in the Isle of Skye, our tent was ruined by the wind, sleeping bags were wet, towels were dripping, clothes and shoes were soaked, force us had to find an alternative accommodation then look for a new tent.
Arrived in Inverness, lucky to found Strathisla B&B, the owners let us dry our sleeping bags and champing things in their glass room (rain all day), they even put our clothes and towels in their washing machine to spin.
Next morning, we had a great breakfast, really enjoyed it. After we had checked out, they still let our clothes and other things to dry outside while we went to buy a new tent. We four Danish boys cannot thank them enough, they made us feel like at home and been well looked after!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kurk G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2013

Had a little accident when I drove up to Inverness from Edinburgh during a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, I forgot to phone the hotel that I had booked, as I was an hour late the hotel had re-let my room to someone else. I drove and walk around Inverness looking for a vacancy for at least an hour, but no joy, either full or no single room. Finally, arrived at the door steps of Strathisla, they took me in, gave me a double room and only charged me a single room price. It was nearly dark and I was desparate, they can charge me any price I'll still pay for it, but they didn't. They are sympathetic and helpful. I had a restful night sleep and ready to get on the road again the next day. I'm still very grateful for their kindness.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Zoe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 June 2013

Arrived with my dad on our bikes in the rain at 3pm, we were dried and clean-up and out to the city to explore in less than half an hour. The owners were very welcoming and gave us many info.
The room is clean, have nice TV, comfy bed and deco, not en-suite but has a good wash-hand basin. Breakfast was simple but just what we needed! Ideal!!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Almondo M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carneys Point, New Jersey
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 October 2012

The accomodations were fine and the bed was comfortable. The room was a bit cold. The bathroom is down a few stairs but I didn't find this to be a problem. The limited shower times do create a problem in the morning when multiple guests are trying to get ready in two hours. I rushed showers before the nighttime cutoff to avoid the morning traffic jam.

The breakfast was so-so. It was hearty and fine but nothing exceptional.

However, I will say, I did get an odd vibe from the whole experience. We had not read tripadvisor beforehand so reading it now was like an "aha" moment. These other reviews reminded me that my gut is pretty spot-on. As exaggerated as some reviews may seem, having stayed here, I can believe they are true.

I felt like an intruder in a private home, rather than a paying guest at a B&B. There was a feeling that we needed to be invisible as we came and went. As an adult, the host waiting up for every night and appearing at the door out of nowhere was off-putting. Also, we never saw his wife though we heard her. That made us a bit uncomfortable when we were clearly staying in their family home (unlike other B&Bs where you are separated from the living space). We were aware of the family hours before our trip and respected these times. However, it did make it quite inconvenient when we forgot things at our room or wanted to drop things off.

He did tend to ramble which we attributed to quirkiness (hey, we're all unique). However, his rambling sometimes bordered on offensive and opinionated, two things you don't really want to encounter during a leisurely vacation.

I would say the price in the area was not a steal and I would seek other accomodations. Even though we did not experience anything close to other reviewers I would not stay again. The last thing I want is to go on vacation and feel uncomfortable.

Inverness, however, was amazing and really worth the visit.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LoBrendel82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gairloch, Scotland, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2012

had an err interesting B and B experience Strathisla, Crown, Inverness on Thurs. Had booked 2 rooms for 2 nights for the Moy games from the link on their site. Arrived on the thurs pm, rooms small and dated but clean. given code for door, came back very late as had fish to collect etc, went to enter code but door opened by owner who had waited up for us. He demanded payment accusing us of planning...to do a runner first thing the next morning?? as they didn't take cards or cheques and i didn't have all the cash, he refused to let us stay. He kicked us out at midnight despite having booked 2 nights and offering my handbag and phone as security till I went and got the cash out. So i spent thurs night sleeping in my van with a lobster suit for a sleeping bag and my tablecloth as a blanket!! shocking highland welcome! we were polite, were clearly working, smartly dressed etc

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Jess D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Inverness hotels

Oxford
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2009

I arrived in Inverness at 5:20pm yesterday, and quickly made my way to Strathisla Guesthouse on Charles Street.

I'm a researcher for a university, and do a lot of travelling in Scotland, so I'm fairly used to Scottish B&B fare, all of which has been good in my experience - except for this awful joke of a place.

The owner opened the door to me and, noticing that I had smoked outside, informed me that if he had known about my habit (be it pursued outdoors or not), I would not have been offered a room.

Putting this needless lack of manners behind me, I was shown to my room (no. 2). The walls were ornamented with notices of petty rules, the most shocking of which was the demand that guests vacate the house between 10am and 4pm, 'our family time!'. This sort of stricture happens at Youth Hostels, but not in any guest house I've been to.

The disclosures mounted. At Strathisla, you cannot shower outside the hours of 7:30-9:30am or 7:30-10:30pm, and you are entitled to only one shower per day. What if you get drenched in an Invernesian downpour and need a wash?

The following morning, I breakfasted and then returned to my room. It was only 8:50, so I lay down for a while, to be soon disturbed by the aforementioned creep banging on my door, asking me to get up and out. He also shouted through the door that my light was on.

I showered quickly, ignoring the stupid rule, packed my bags and made for the hall, but not before I surreptitiously phoned other guest houses.

Informing the owner that I wanted to check out, he replied 'Yes, I knew it wouldn't work out', and went on to accuse me of having spent the previous night getting drunk in the town and coming home late. (I had actually dined out the previous evening and enjoyed a good walk around the town, returning to Strathisla at 10:35.)

Having been quoted a tariff of £25 over the phone, I was now asked to stump up £30. I did this with good grace and happily got to my alternative accommodation.

It seems that the man I dealt with has a knack for making guests feel uncomfortable, so it's heartening to see the other reviews here - they aren't wrong!

In short: if you want to stay in Inverness, definitely look elsewhere. Strathisla is an embarrassment to Scottish hospitality. And that's what I'm going to tell the officials in the tourist office.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank usherikov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Strathisla B&B

Property: Strathisla B&B
Address: 42 Charles Street, Inverness IV2 3AH, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Scottish Highlands > Inverness
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #220 of 247 B&Bs / Inns in Inverness
Number of rooms: 3
Also Known As:
Strathisla B&B Inverness, Scotland

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